Thursday, August 30, 2018

Review: The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, Karen White

From the New York Times bestselling authors of The Forgotten Room comes a captivating historical mystery, infused with romance, that links the lives of three women across a century—two deep in the past, one in the present—to the doomed passenger liner, RMS Lusitania.

May 2013 Her finances are in dire straits and bestselling author Sarah Blake is struggling to find a big idea for her next book. Desperate, she breaks the one promise she made to her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother and opens an old chest that belonged to her great-grandfather, who died when the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat in 1915. What she discovers there could change history. Sarah embarks on an ambitious journey to England to enlist the help of John Langford, a recently disgraced Member of Parliament whose family archives might contain the only key to the long-ago catastrophe. . . .

April 1915 Southern belle Caroline Telfair Hochstetter’s marriage is in crisis. Her formerly attentive industrialist husband, Gilbert, has become remote, pre-occupied with business . . . and something else that she can’t quite put a finger on. She’s hoping a trip to London in Lusitania’s lavish first-class accommodations will help them reconnect—but she can’t ignore the spark she feels for her old friend, Robert Langford, who turns out to be on the same voyage. Feeling restless and longing for a different existence, Caroline is determined to stop being a bystander, and take charge of her own life. . . .

Tessa Fairweather is traveling second-class on the Lusitania, returning home to Devon. Or at least, that’s her story. Tessa has never left the United States and her English accent is a hasty fake. She’s really Tennessee Schaff, the daughter of a roving con man, and she can steal and forge just about anything. But she’s had enough. Her partner has promised that if they can pull off this one last heist aboard the Lusitania, they’ll finally leave the game behind. Tess desperately wants to believe that, but Tess has the uneasy feeling there’s something about this job that isn’t as it seems. . . .

As the Lusitania steams toward its fate, three women work against time to unravel a plot that will change the course of their own lives . . . and history itself.

Kindle, 416 pages
Expected publication: September 4th, 2018
by William Morrow
*** 1/2

The Glass Ocean is the 2nd collaboration between talented authors Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. Their first book together, The Forgotten Room was a favorite of mine back in 2016. Needless to say, I was excited when William Morrow provided me with an advanced copy of this their latest.

I didn’t know much about the Lusitania other than it was hit by a German torpedo during World War One and ushered the US into war. With 3 different narrators it wasn’t hard to keep the two time periods straight, two from the past and one present day.

The beginning 1/3 of this book pulled me in with its character building and intriguing plot. The dual time periods are books I usually enjoy, though at times it can be one time period that interests me more. Such was the case here (to some extent). To be honest, I struggled with the past plot, maybe because it dragged on a little longer than I thought necessary or maybe just a slight confusion at times. What saved it for me were the comedic bantering that was needed (pretty sure that was William’s part).

I struggled between giving this book 3 or 4 stars. Frustration grew when a change of direction occurred towards the end of the present day story (yea I felt it out of place and it really bugged me). But as I continued reading I ‘got it’ and thought it a great addition- sometimes you just need to sit back and trust the writer.

So I'm giving this book 3 1/2 stars rounding up to 4.

My thanks to William Morrow for an advanced copy (via Edelweiss).

click on cover for my review

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